Dec. 5, 2012 at 9:31 AM ET
Two Australian radio DJs pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles called the London hospital where expectant Duchess Kate is being treated for severe morning sickness and were quickly connected to her private nurse, a move the hospital said Wednesday it “deeply regrets.”
The pranksters obtained revealing details about Kate’s condition from the nurse at King Edward VII hospital, where she has been treated for symptoms related to her early-stage pregnancy.
Mimicking the queen and Prince Charles, radio DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian of Australian station 2Day FM called the hospital asking for Kate, “my granddaughter.” The nurse informed them that she had stabilized and stopped “retching.”
A spokesman told the BBC that the hospital takes confidentiality seriously and “deeply regrets this incident.” The hospital is now reviewing its telephone protocol.
"This was a foolish prank call that we all deplore,” said John Lofthouse, chief executive at King Edward VII Hospital.
The Duchess of Cambridge has been hospitalized since Monday for hyperemesis gravidarum, a rare condition that causes severe nausea, vomiting and other debilitating symptoms. It often results in hospitalization because of concern over dehydration and the mother’s inability to get proper nutrition.
"She's quite stable. She hasn't had any retching with me and she's been sleeping on and off,” Middleton’s unsuspecting nurse told the radio DJs.
She also revealed what time Prince William wrapped up his lengthy visit to his wife and suggested that “any time after 9 o’clock will be suitable to visit. We’ll be getting her freshened up.”
The radio station played the call live on air.
Despite improvement, Middleton will remain at the hospital for at least another day, according to a statement released Tuesday night by St. James's Palace.
"The Duchess of Cambridge is continuing to feel better,” the statement said. “She and the Duke are immensely grateful for the good wishes they have received. She will remain in hospital at present."